Media literacy show answers hard questions with Adbusters-inspired puppets


Gus writes, "When we created The Media Show (previously) decided the best way to teach about digital and media literacy was to answer the questions people were already asking Google, we didn't anticipate how bizarre some of the questions would be." Read the rest

Excellent tailgate puppet theater in traffic jams

If you're stuck in gridlock in Ljubljana, Slovenia, you might be lucky enough to be entertained by a tailgate puppet show from the Mini Teater.

"It demonstrates a true power of theater as it amuses people when being least amused - stuck in traffic jams," they write.

(via Laughing Squid) Read the rest

Rowlf the Dog covers Biz Markie's "Just a Friend"

It's an amazing piece of video editing/lip-syncing, right up there with Sesame Street Sure Shot. Read the rest

Vintage toys: Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Thumper, and... Idiot?


The 1949 Airboy comic has an ad for 5 puppets: Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Thumper... and Idiot. We'll assume Idiot is not a Disney-licensed character, though he looks a bit like their Hunchback. The same firm also sold Halloween masks: Read the rest

Hacker puppets answer your questions about the net

Gus writes, "Two of us who help produce the Hackers On Planet Earth conference and the Off The Hook radio show are starting a new season of The Media Show, our media/digital literacy show; we'd love to invite Boing Boing readers to participate in the crowdfunding and questions for our next season." Read the rest

Kickstarted rescue for the marionettes of Ralph Kipniss

Jason sez, "Ralph Kipniss is a master puppeteer who has fallen on hard times. In 2005, he lost both his life partner (after a grave illness) and his puppet theater (in an accidental fire). In the years since, Kipniss has had to move out of Chicago, but hundreds of his specially-created marionettes are still in storage in his old apartment building. Local filmmakers Joseph R. Lewis and Lew Ojeda are running a Kickstarter campaign to help reunite Kipniss with his puppets and hopefully help him get back into performing regularly." Read the rest

Adafruit debuts "Circuit Playground" -- a kids' puppet show about electronics

The first episode of Adafruit's "Circuit Playground," a kids' puppet show about electronics, "A is for Ampere," just went live and it's smashing.

Kickstarting a Victorian ghost movie starring puppets, with in-camera effects

Special effects artist Kevin McTurk has a fully subscribed kickstarter for The Mill at Calder's End, a Victorian ghost movie starring 30" puppets guided by pairs or trios of puppeteers all in black. The effects will be done in-camera,

The Mill at Calder's End is a gothic ghost story in the spirit of Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft that will be told with 30 inch tall bunraku puppets and old fashioned in-camera special effects. Featuring the voices of Jason Flemyng (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, X-Men: First Class) and horror legend Barbara Steele (Black Sunday, The Pit and the Pendulum) , this film celebrates two of my great loves: the art of puppetry and gothic horror.

From my experience working as a special effects artist in Hollywood for over twenty years and now collaborating with some of the most talented creature effects artists, concept artists, and puppeteers in the industry, The Mill at Calder's End will be unlike any puppet film you have ever seen before.

The Mill at Calder's End is a passion project that is heavily influenced by the classic Hammer horror films of the 1960s and the films of Mario Bava (most notably, his gothic masterpiece Black Sunday). I have also always had a great love of puppetry and traditional in-camera special effects. The work of Jim Henson (The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and his Storyteller television series) is a great inspiration to me and I am hoping to bring his sense of wonderment and artistry to The Mill at Calder's End.

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Neil Patrick Harris "dreams in puppets" in a new web series on the Nerdist Channel!

If you dream in puppets like Neil Patrick Harris does, it might be time to drink more chamomile tea at night.

Kiki and Bubu: neo-Marxist sock puppets join dating service, get friended by China, get taken down from YouTube

Our favorite sock puppets Kiki and Bubu have some feelings, so they sign up for an online dating site.

Million Puppet March to support public broadcasting in America

A puppet march to support public broadcasting has its own theme song.

Einstein with puppet-Einstein

If you think Einstein-with-his-tongue-out is the last word in whimsical physicist photography, have a look at this 1931 shot of the Mighty Hip Einie with an Einstein marionette.

Here's the runner up: Einstein in fuzzy slippers.

Update: Dan Bessie writes, "As it happens, I own the original negative (and photo) of Einstein with the marionette, created by my uncle Harry Burnett. And contrary to comments you've received, the puppet is neither Mark Twain, nor was it Photoshopped."

Attributed to Harry Burnett while Yale Puppeteers were working in their theater, Teatro Torito, on Olvera Street in Los Angeles, California, circa 1931. The photo was taken by Harry Burnett at Cal Tech in Pasadena where Albert Einstein was teaching. Einstein saw the puppet perform at the Teato Torito and was quite amused. He reached into his jacket’s breast pocket, pulled out a letter and crumpled it up. Speaking in German, he said, “The puppet wasn’t fat enough!” He laughed and stuffed the crumpled letter up under the smock to give the puppet a fatter belly. This is a wonderful photograph that Harry treasured. Harry Burnett also kept the letter in a frame and loved to retell the story and at the end give his pixish laugh.

Einstein with Einstein Puppet

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Jim Henson short explains "Data Communications" for Bell execs, 1963

Joly sez, "Jim Henson made this film in 1963 for The Bell System. Specifically, it was made for an elite seminar given for business owners, on the then-brand-new topic — Data Communications. The seminar itself involved a lot of films and multimedia presentations, and took place in Chicago. A lengthy description of the planning of the Bell Data Communications Seminar — sans a mention of the Henson involvement — is on the blog of Inpro co-founder Jack Byrne. It later was renamed the Bell Business Communications Seminar. The organizers of the seminar, Inpro, actually set the tone for the film in a three-page memo from one of Inpro's principals, Ted Mills to Henson. Mills outlined the nascent, but growing relationship between man and machine: a relationship not without tension and resentment: "He [the robot] is sure that All Men Basically Want to Play Golf, and not run businesses — if he can do it better." (Mills also later designed the ride for the Bell System at the 1964 World's Fair.) Henson's execution is not only true to Mills' vision, but he also puts his own unique, irreverent spin on the material. The robot narrator used in this film had previously starred in a skit for a food fair in Germany (video is silent), in 1961. It also may be the same robot that appeared on the Mike Douglas Show in 1966. Henson created a different — but similar — robot for the SKF Industries pavilion at the 1964 World's Fair. This film was found in the AT&T Archives. Read the rest

Puppets re-enact no-cameras-allowed corruption trial on the nightly news

Channel 19 in Akron, Ohio was disappointed that it wouldn't be allowed to take cameras into the corruption trial of Jimmy Dimora, a former county commissioner. But when life gives you SARS, you make sarsaparilla: they bring the courtroom proceeding to their viewers' TV sets by re-enacting them with puppets. As Lowering the Bar notes, "I think that all court proceedings should be reported in this way, but would settle for either puppet coverage of arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court or a full reenactment of the Rod Blagojevich trial."

News Team Not Allowed to Film in Courtroom; Turns to Puppetry Instead Read the rest

Beautiful short film about decomposition of a whale carcass

When an animal as big as a whale dies, its body becomes a whole new ecosystem. One whale carcass can support other forms of life for 50-to-75 years—basically as long as the whale itself lived.

This gorgeous video (I am not kidding. You will not need a unicorn chaser.) illustrates how that cycle works, using paper cutouts and simple puppetry. It's mesmerizing and enlightening.

The video was made for a Radiolab episode about whale falls, and was put together by Sharon Shattuck and Flora Lichtman. Amazing work!

Video Link

Thanks to Ferris Jabr

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